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Simon Taufel named Umpire of the Year for second successive year

Simon Taufel was tonight named as Umpire of the Year for the second successive year at the ICC Awards in Sydney



Simon Taufel - Umpire of the Year © Getty Images
Simon Taufel was tonight named as Umpire of the Year for the second successive year at the ICC Awards in Sydney.
Taufel, 34, from Australia, was the clear winner of the trophy ahead of Pakistan's Aleem Dar and Rudi Koertzen of South Africa after votes were tallied from the captains of the ten Test-playing countries and the seven members of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees.
ICC President Ehsan Mani said: "On behalf of the ICC I would like to congratulate Simon on this award.
"He has once again had an outstanding year making decisions in pressure situations all over the world and this award reflects the fact he has got most of those decisions right.
"Collectively the umpires on the Emirates Elite Panel and the Emirates International Panel have done an outstanding job over the past twelve months.
"Between April 2004 and March 2005 our statistics indicate that of the 3700 occasions they were called upon to make a decision, they were right 94.8% of the time in Tests and 93.4% in ODIs.
"Those impressive figures are a ringing endorsement of the quality and professionalism of our officials and also a ringing endorsement of the concept of the Emirates Panels."
Taufel stood in 10 Test matches and 16 ODIs during the voting period for the award, which ran from 1 August 2004 to 31 July 2005.
The only Full Member countries where Taufel did not officiate during that time were Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
Taufel, who made his first-class debut as an umpire in 1994/95, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in 2003.
The Umpire of the Year was one of eight individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented by Hyundai in association with FICA.
The event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period.
Votes for the Umpire of the Year award were cast a 3-2-1 vote (3 votes being the greater value), with the votes tallied to produce a winner.
The Top three umpires in the poll were:
1. Simon Taufel (Australia) - 34 votes
2. Aleem Dar (Pakistan) - 18 votes
3. Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) - 15 votes
Taufel received the trophy from Malcolm Speed, Chief Executive Officer of the ICC.
The trophy, produced by Swarovski, features a crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, cusped in a hand which extends from an aluminium base. The hand represents the theme of "breaking through" in pursuit of excellence.
The trophy features a clear crystal ball, weighs 1.2 kilograms, is 30 centimetres high and 11 centimetres in width.